Diller-Odell boys, girls basketball send 1959 gym out in style Tuesday

ODELL, NE –  60 years of games. 60 years of memories.

Eric McMurray coached at Diller-Odell for 28 of those 60.

“It’s kind of amazing,” McMurray, the Griffins’ athletic director said. “Kind of nostalgic. Lots of good memories.”

On Tuesday, the Diller-Odell Griffins, for the final time, played varsity basketball in their gymnasium built in 1959. Admission was free for the 2018-19 home finale.

Next year, the Griffins will play in a brand new facility.

Ground was broken for the new gym in Oct. 2018. It’s scheduled to be finished in late-July. The new location will offer bigger capacity, and with that, bigger events.

“So, if we can host some sub-districts or district finals, that would be great,” McMurray said. “I’d be very willing to do that, and we’re hoping that’s what this will bring around.”

Diller-Odell supporters Judy Vitosh and Jamie Renshaw have attended Griffin games for years, watching kids and grandkids play.

For them, Tuesday’s finale had sentimental value.

Vitosh’s daughters, Jennifer (class of 1990) and Alyson (class of ’92), are Diller-Odell alumni.

Her grandson, senior Bryston Warren, is on the team now.

“It’s been a very long time,” Vitosh said. “I didn’t go to school here, but our girls played volleyball and basketball.”

Renshaw came to Odell in 1976. His three kids, Preston (class of ’89), Amanda (class of ’94) and Alex (class of ’00), all played in the ’59 gym. He lives next door to the high school. He’s grown fond of the old place, but looks forward to what’s coming.

“The gym will still be here,” Renshaw said. “It’ll be a good practice facility. I’m interested in the new gym. It’ll be a good addition.”

The old gym will still be used for practice, junior high games and the like. Griffin students and administration are excited for a new place, but the old one will be remembered fondly.

“We’ve had great kids and great parents over the years, and that’s what’s made it nice,” McMurray said. “You look around the gym, it’s hard to believe it’s 60 years old. We’ve really done some nice things over the last couple years to help it out.

“We’re anxious to get into the new gym, but there’ll always be great memories from this one.”

Diller-Odell added a couple more memories Tuesday. Both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams scored double-digit wins over College View Academy. The girls (12-9) won 66-40. The boys (9-12), 48-29.

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